Elements of Latin Lesson 4
Number; Agreement of Verbs

Omne initium est difficile — Every beginning is hard
A Latin proverb

45. Number. Latin, like English, has two numbers, singular and plural.

46. Plural of Nouns. In English the plural of nouns is usually formed by adding -s or -es to the singular. So Latin changes the singular to the plural by changing the ending.

CASE
SINGULAR
PLURAL
NOM. (Subject)
puell-a
girl
puell-ae
girls
Gen. (possessor)
puell-ae
girl's, of the girl
puell-ārum
girls', of the girls
Acc. (Object)
puell-am
girl
puell-ās
girls

Note that the genitive singular and the nominative plural are alike.

   a. Some Latin words ending in -a have passed into English without change and form the plural in -ae: as, alumna, alumnae; formula, formulae; minutia, minutiae; nebula, nebulae; vertebra, vertebrae. Consult the dictionary for the meaning of these words.

47. Plural of Verbs. Verbs, as well as nouns, form the plural with different endings. In the singular the third person ends in -t, in the plural in -nt. Thus,

porta-t
he (she, it) carries
porta-nt
they carry
puella portat
the girl carries
puellae portant
the girls carry

The endings -t and -nt, which show the person and number of the verb, are called personal endings, and take the place of the English personal pronouns.

48. Rule for Agreement of Verbs. The finite verb agrees with its subject in person and number.


Exercises

Print Lesson 4 Exercises

49. Write and give orally the nominative, genitive, and accusative, singular and plural, of the Latin nouns meaning farmer, daughter, queen, girl.

50. Write and give orally the third person singular and plural of the Latin verbs meaning love, call, hasten.

51. Derivation. Define the following English words: vocal, vocation, filial, amiable, agriculture. To what Latin words are they related?

Roman Women Playing Jackstones


     


Return to Elements of Latin


Return from EOL Lesson 4 to Teach and Learn Latin